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Gov. Brewer Endorsement Expected for Former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith

Capitol Media Services file photo by Howard Fischer

Scott Smith may finally get the bump he needs Thursday to boost his campaign for governor. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer explains.

Smith has scheduled a morning rally where Gov. Jan Brewer is expected to formally back the former Mesa mayor. It comes as a recent poll show that Smith, who has been running third to Doug Ducey and Christine Jones, may have managed to take second place. That still leaves the question of whether the endorsement, coming after early voting has started, may be too little, too late. But, pollster Earl de Berge said there are still votes to be had.

“You have to believe that right now, the people that are sitting on the fence are mostly independents and moderate Republicans. So that could have a good impact for him,” de Berge said.

Of all the GOP gubernatorial hopefuls, Smith has taken positions most close to Brewer, supporting Medicaid expansion and the Common Core education standards. But, de Berge said that does not mean Brewer supporters would automatically have voted for Smith absent her backing.

“While they recognize and have pretty good impressions of the governor, they may not be as aware of the specifics as to what Scott’s policies are. This will give them a reason to either look for it or accept her endorsement as proof positive that he is more to the center,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Ducey, who had sought Brewer’s backing, brushed aside questions of what a Smith endorsement will mean.

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